We see the theme of God’s faithfulness over and over in the Bible from the Genesis 3:15 promise of an Offspring, on to Noah, Abraham and Israel, as well as Moses, Joshua and David. We then see God’s faithfulness in the New Testament through the coming Messiah and promised Offspring, in the life of Paul and the disciples of Christ, not to forget all those referenced in the Hall of Fame of Faith in Hebrews 11. But what about the church today and regular folks like us who aren’t in the Bible? Is God still faithful?
We have to remember that Bible characters were people just like us, not super-characters in fable-like stories. They were real people who had real problems and had to deal with the consequences of their actions. They didn’t know how their stories would end when they were going through hard times. These are people who experienced the highs and lows of life and their flaws are exposed in black and white letters for all to read. They had to learn of God’s faithfulness through difficult life circumstances just like we do.
These stories are placed in the Bible for a reason and that is for us to see our need for Christ, for us to know God and learn who He is and what He is like, and to help us process how He deals with sinners like us. We see His mercy and grace and compassion, while learning how He remains holy, just, righteous and good. These stories help us to trust Him more because we see His faithfulness, attributes, and promises at work through a consistent pattern of grace while still dealing with the consistent pattern of sin in His chosen, unfaithful people.
The first grade curriculum my church uses, The ABCs of God, from Truth:78 (formerly Children Desiring God) defines God’s faithfulness as “God always does what He says He will do.” It’s something our children can grasp at an early age, but we all struggle to remember it at times.
He always does what he says He will do. But it may not be done like we think it should be or in our desired timing. Nevertheless, He is faithful. For instance, in Mark Chapter 4:35-40, Jesus told his disciples to get in a boat and that they we’re going to the other side. He then proceeded to fall asleep and a great storm arose. Fearing for their lives they woke Him frantically, and Jesus calmed the storm. Astonished, they made it safely to the other side. He’s faithful to do what he says He will do – even though from our limited perspective it’s a dangerous journey through a terrible storm.
3 Examples of God’s Faithfulness:
God is faithful in our waiting. Have you ever waited on God to work through a difficult time in your life? Perhaps you’re going through a season right now where all you can do is actively abide in Him, trust, and wait. Like so many others be encouraged and find comfort in Isaiah 40:
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:29-31 ESV).
God is faithful over salvation. Are you longing and praying for a friend, co-worker, or family member to come to know the Lord? Be encouraged that He is sovereign over salvation and Jesus tells us in John 6 that: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day (John 6:37-39 ESV).” Likewise in John 10 He is the Good Shepherd and His sheep hear His voice and will follow Him.
God is faithful in that nothing can separate His people from His love. Have you ever been so overwhelmed that you doubted God’s love? No matter what we’re going through, or what we’ve done, His love for us does not change. Read Paul’s encouraging words from Romans 8:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39 ESV).
We are now waiting for His promised return, but He is faithful and He will do it. The greek word for faithful is pistos, phonetically (pis-tos’), which means faithful, reliable, trustworthy, sure and true. The Hebrew word is emunah, phonetically (em-oo-naw’), which means firmness, steadfastness, fidelity.
How has He been faithful to you recently? Can you sing along with the hymnist?
“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!” Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided— “Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!
Other verses to consider:
O Lord , you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure (Isaiah 25:1 ESV).
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Corinthians 1:9 ESV).
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him (in Christ). That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory (2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV).
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 ESV).
Most people prefer to find work that is fulfilling, in a career field they are passionate about, and with pay that compensates them rewardingly. But what makes work truly meaningful? What if work was meant to be fulfilling because it served a greater purpose, a purpose outside of ourselves?
Whether it’s an entry-level position, work at home, or a leadership role there are many times where we have to do the work that is set before us. This is also known as whatever our hands find to do (Ecclesiastes 9:10). This may or may not be something we’re excited about or paid a lot of money for, but there’s still a purpose behind it.
Originally work was established with the purpose of worship and expanding God’s kingdom on the earth. Then after the fall, a new layer was added while keeping the original intent. Work was going to be much harder, yet God provided a way for His people to be a part of the healing process in a broken world. God’s people were to be part of the solution and an Offspring was promised (Genesis 3:15). God’s people would have a new opportunity to glorify Him by having families, spreading out over the earth, and using their talents to serve His good purposes, while providing help to others (some product or service).
Work In The Beginning In the beginning work was performed by God and then He gave instructions and assigned tasks to Adam and Eve. They were to be stewards of creation in perfect relationship with their Creator as they went about their assigned tasks.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. Genesis 2:15
Work After The Fall As revealed in Genesis 3, Adam and Eve’s rebellion had consequences that still impact our working lives:
…cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you… Genesis 3:17b-18a
Work is now more difficult, but work was not the curse even though the curse affects our work.
And then in the first eleven chapters of Genesis we go from the pre-fall garden of grace, caring for God’s creation, and expanding it to spread God’s fame, to a fallen people coming up with a grand plan to disobey God by living in one place and trying to make a name for themselves.
Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11:4
Is work all about me, my self-worth, building a personal brand, accumulating wealth and retirement, while making a name for myself? Isn’t this a Tower of Babel mentality?
There are two traps that we easily fall into. Our job, and the money and prestige it generates, can either feed our ego and selfish desires, or it can do the opposite where we tend to grumble and complain due to discontentment.
Consider these verses:
He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. Ecclesiastes 5:10
But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 1 Timothy 6:6-7
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23
The Work Of Redemption As mentioned in the introduction, after the fall God had a plan to restore and redeem and work continued to be incorporated into His plan. Below is a helpful excerpt from a devotional by the team at Theology of Work regarding “God’s Good Idea: Work and Redemption.”
Despite the curse, the work commissioned in Genesis 1 and 2 continues. There is still ground to be tilled and phenomena of nature to be studied, described and named. Men and women must still be fruitful, must still multiply, must still govern.
But now, a second layer of work must also be accomplished—the work of healing and repairing things that go wrong and evils that are committed. In a world of sin and sadness, many jobs echo God’s redemption: Scientists and salespersons help people overcome various difficulties by providing products to make life easier and healthier. Law enforcement officers and parents provide safety in the midst of chaos. Accountants and repairmen fix broken ledgers, appliances and technology.
These and other roles project hope for the coming restoration (Revelation 21:1). One day, brokenness will be gone; pain will be no more. But until that day, even the most frustrating jobs can be means by which we carry out the “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18). We can reflect Jesus’ finished work in our own lives as we display God’s characteristics to the world and work to redeem areas of brokenness.
The Greater Purpose While we can’t work to earn our salvation, we can show the world where our Hope lies as we’re working. As we’re going and doing we can show by our actions and how we conduct ourselves that there is a greater purpose to what we do. The purpose includes the greatest command to love the Lord our God and our neighbors.
Therefore, work has meaning and is a tangible way we can minister to a broken world, while honoring God, providing income to steward and to give away to expand His kingdom, while helping others in need. It’s also an opportunity to point others to the promised Offspring, Jesus Christ, to emulate Him as His disciples, and to tell others about His finished work on the cross.
Work, after all, is still a means of worship…so whatever we do, let’s do it all for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).